Doctor with lung cancer receives groundbreaking liver and double-lung transplant at Northwestern Hospital in Chicago

Northwestern Surgeons Perform Historic Triple Transplant on Lung Cancer Patient

Northwestern surgeons have made medical history by performing a groundbreaking combined lung-liver transplant on a patient with advanced lung cancer. The patient, Dr. Gary Gibbon, a pulmonologist himself, was facing stage 3 lung cancer and irreversible damage to his lungs and liver after failed treatments.

Dr. Gibbon found hope through Northwestern’s DREAM program and made the journey from California to Chicago for the life-saving surgery. Remarkably, within just 12 days of being placed on the transplant list, two lungs and a liver became available from a single donor, with priority given to the most critically ill patients.

Described as “off the charts” and never before attempted, especially for a patient with active cancer, the surgery was a success thanks to the skilled surgical team. During the procedure, a perfusion machine was used to keep the liver alive for an impressive 17 hours.

Six months post-surgery, Dr. Gibbon is not only cancer-free but also celebrating his 69th birthday and recent marriage, a testament to the marvels of modern medicine and the generosity of organ donors and their families. This historic accomplishment underscores the importance of organ donor awareness and the priceless gift of life that donors provide to those in need.

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